Eating for Two | Prenatal Nutrition Tips

Have you heard the saying, “You are eating for two now”? This is a common misconception, which can actually be harmful advice in some cases. Unfortunately, the cliche of not paying careful attention to your nutrition with your care provider’s advice can sometimes bring on complications later on during or after pregnancy like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

We are here to explain why you shouldn’t necessarily “eat for two”.

During pregnancy, your body needs more calories and nutrients to fuel you and your baby but that amount is likely not doubled. At first, your body may not need extra calories and it might be challenging to eat more anyway since the first trimester is when many women experience nausea and other uncomfortable digestive symptoms. The main thing to focus on is to just try to eat a well-balanced diet filled with protein, proper hydration, and staying consistent with your prenatal vitamins.

It is typically recommended that once you are in your second and third trimester to increase your caloric intake by 300-500 calories per day. However, every person will need different calories and nutrients for their body so it is important to consult with your care provider about what a healthy amount of weight gain is for you.

But the truth is that growing a human takes a lot of your own nutrients and energy. A general nutrition tip for pregnant women is to shoot for 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. This helps you eat small amounts throughout the day, keeping up your energy so you feel energized and satisfied all day long. Here are some foods you should consider adding to your diet – with your care provider’s agreement!

Food to Eat


    • Chicken
    • Beef
    • Eggs

Dark, Leafy Greens

    • Broccoli
    • Spinach
    • Cabbage

Whole Grains

    • Oats
    • Quinoa
    • Brown Rice


    • Milk
    • Cheese
    • Yogurt


Hydration is an extremely important part of prenatal nutrition. You should aim for 8 to 12 cups of water every day. If drinking water is hard for you throughout the day, try adding fruits to your water and filling a large water bottle that you can carry around with you everywhere you go! 

Don’t forget that everything that goes into your body is also being shared with your baby. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying properly hydrated are ways to encourage a healthy pregnancy! If you are in the Charleston area, check out Sweet Mae’s for local, healthy treats made especially for mamas and babies.